Identity Fraud Protection Increasingly Offered as Recruitment Lure

While a just-released SHRM survey reveals that rising healthcare costs are employers’ chief concern, a growing number of insurers and corporate recruiters are voluntarily increasing their investment in a form of workplace productivity insurance.?

That’s because the mounting problem of employee identity fraud has evolved from an individual’s personal financial nightmare into a full-fledged personnel issue, and now, an employment benefit that’s of growing interest to new recruits.

Nearly nine million adult Americans will be victimized by identity fraud this year, and they will spend an average 40 hours — a full workweek — agonizing over the process of resolving their cases and restoring their creditworthiness.

That according to the 2006 Identity Fraud Survey Report released by the Council of Better Business Bureaus and Javelin Strategy & Research, which also found that adults ages 35 to 44 have the highest average identity fraud amount: $9,435.

The increase in identity theft ranked eighth among employers’ Top 10 concerns in SHRM’s 2006 Workplace Forecast that placed rising healthcare costs at the top of the heap.

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“There is a huge and growing demand for programs that can help employees defray the high costs of healthcare, as well as reduce the threat from a variety of other risks,” says Eric Kirchner, national sales leader for benefit solutions with GE Consumer Finance. His unit offers identity protection insurance together with employee legal services, and discount dental and vision programs, among others.

The Federal Trade Commission considers identity theft one of the fastest growing and most personally devastating non-violent crimes in the United States.

That explains why GE Consumer Finance and other companies that are offering the employee identity fraud protection — including AIG American General and St. Paul Travelers — are hoping to profit from giving employees peace of mind and employers a strong defense against a mounting employee absenteeism and productivity issue.

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